Asian Arowana is popular in fish world, there’s hardly a fish lover deny Asian Arowana’s exotic beauty when seeing a mature Arowana. If you have to describe the beauty of Asian Arowana, it is the combination of the beauty of strength and the beauty of colors. That beauty is also the reason why these exotic freshwater fish are called dragon fish in Asia where they hold a symbol of luck and prosperity.
In this article, let’s discuss some basic and main types of Asian Arowana. Base on the origin of Arowana, we have four types of Arowana: Asian Arowana, South American Arowana, Australia Arowana and African Arowana (some don’t recognize African Arowana).
Asian Arowana has 4 main types and some other types:
- Red Arowana
- Crossback Golden Arowana
- Red Tail Golden Arowana
- Green Arowana
- Other: Yellow Arowana, Platinum
How can we tell these exotic freshwater fish – South American, Australian and Asian Arowana – apart?
Most of Asian Arowana have been claimed to be endangered species by CITES and is prohibited in some countries as a result (Canada exclude).
One big feature we can separate the South American Arowana to the Australian and Asian Arowana is the tail fin, the tail fin of a South American is solid from the dorsal to anal (1 fin) while the other two types have separate dorsal, caudal and anal fin. Mature South American Arowana also tends to be bigger and has longer body than the other two
One feature let us tell the difference between Australian Arowana and South American Arowana, Asian Arowana is the scale row. The scale of an Australian Arowana is small and their body has 7 scale rows while the other two have 5 rows and have bigger scales. Australian Arowana also tends to be more aggressive than the other two.
Asian Arowana tends to have longer barbells and are more colorful than their other two relatives which make them one the most exotic freshwater fish.
Asian, Australian and South American America has many types?
Each type of Arowana base on region is divided into more types base on their exotic freshwater fish color:
- Asian Arowana has four types: Red Arowana (blood and hot chili); Crossback Golden Arowana; Red Tail Golden Arowana; Green Arowana; some say there’s another type which is Yellow Tail Arowana.
- Australian Arowana has two types: Jardini (Pearl) Arowana and Leichardti (spotted) Arowana.
- South American Arowana has two types: Black and Silver Arowana
- African Arowana just has one type, Heterotis and some don’t consider them as Arowana.
Let’s have a talk about each Asian Arowana type,
- Red (Super Red) Arowana
Red Arowana is one of the most expensive Arowana on the market. It takes 3 – 5 years for them to mature and ready to breed and they’re the hardest Arowana to breed. Remember, they are not at first red, their color changes step by step until it reaches the potential red.
You may hear people mention Chili Red Arowana and Blood Arowana, are there any differences between them? Yes there are. You can say they are two types of Red Arowana, they may not have any differences in colors but they have slight differences in shape and mature process. Blood Arowana is slimmer and longer, their eyes are smaller than of Chili Arowana. The Chili’s mouth is sharp compared to the Blood. Some may not like one feature of the Chili which is Chili Arowana tends to have spoon head (not all of them though).
In fact, in the market, the Blood Arowana is more common than the Chili because they reach their potential color sooner than the Chili, it takes 1 – 3 years for a Blood but 2 – 5 years for a Chili. Mention about the changing colors process, having Red Arowana needs patience. If you’re lucky, they reach their red dragon color in 1 – 3 years. If not, it may take to 5 years and in one reported case, one beautiful red Arowana took 9 years to become the red dragon.
One thing you should notice that there are two grades of Red Arowana on the market. Grade 1 and Grade 1.5, Grade 1 is pure Red Arowana and 1.5 is Red Arowana which is breed between a Red and a Green or Golden Red Tail. Some can’t afford grade 1 may want a grade 1.5. If you see Red Arowana (haven’t reached their color) which costs less than normal, they may be grade 1.5 and they won’t reach the red color you think in your head.
- Crossback Golden Arowana
Don’t mistake all Crossback Golden Arowana are gold bars when they reach their mature. There are types of Crossback Golden Arowana base on their core colors: blue-base, green-base, gold-base and purple-base, and just gold-based color is gonna become a 24k gold bar. There’s also platinum(silver)- base and like gold-base, they’re rare. Most of Crossback Golden Arowana are purple-base.
The main gold thing about Crossback Golden is their scale frame, the gold frame can be thick frame or thin frame. If you have purple, green or blue base Crossback plus thin golden frame, well, the whole fish don’t look gold pretty much, still their exotic freshwater fish beauty is undeniable.
It’s difficult to tell what color small Crossback Golden Arowana (12-20 cm) is gonna have because when they’re small because most of them reflect shade of purple. If you’re looking for a golden-base Crossback, here are some tips (not always true though):
- All the scales are little bit lighter than the others when they’re small;
- Base colors looks more gold than blue or purple from a far view;
- The eye frame is golden.
Some of big Crossback (30-40 cm) still change their frame (from thick to thin and vice versa) so love your Arowana, it might surprise you. Even experienced people cannot 100% guess exactly what colors they’re gonna have.
Crossback is gonna lose their color in natural environment due to the contact with the sun, so if you want to enhance your Crossback color, just bring them inside.
Crossback Golden Arowana is sometimes mistaken with Red Tail Golden Arowana, since Red Tail Golden Arowana costs much less than Crossback, there’s some features to tell them apart, let’s take a look at the next Asian Arowana exotic freshwater fish,
- Red Tail Golden Arowana
Red Tail Golden Arowana is a good choice for those who can’t afford a Red or Crossback Golden Arowana. Red Tail Arowana is less golden than Crossback Golden and the gold color stop at the fourth scale row. So, at the size of 12 – 20 cm, you can easily tell apart Red Tail and Crossback.
The back of Red Tail has deep blue or purple color, they also have purple, blue, green color. Why are they called Red Tail? Because, except one third of their tail fin has deep blue color, the rest fin has orange red color like the Red Arowana.
Red Tail Golden Arowana is more aggressive than Red Arowana, but they’re less aggressive than Crossback Golden Arowana. In fact, Crossback Golden is the most aggressive type among Asian Arowana. So, it’s okay if you want to put 6 – 9 Red Tail Golden in a pond.
If you’re considering between a Grade 1.5 Red Arowana or a Green Arowana and a Red Tail Golden Arowana, Red Tail Golden may be a better choice for those who’re patient because even though Red Arowana looks good at first but good Red Tail gets more golden when they grow older, some even reaches 5 scale row golden just like a Crossback Golden.
- Green Arowana
Green Arowana is the cheapest and the most common Asian Arowana. They’re easier to breed and to grow than the other types. In fact, they’re the first Arowana fish for most people before they attempt to another Arowana level.
Green Arowana scales have horse-shoe pattern and spot on their back. When Green Arowana reaches mature age, their head seems smaller and rounder, that’s unattractive point of Green Arowana to someone.
Despite not being a so exotic freshwater Arowana fish like the other relative, Green Arowana is quite peaceful (the least aggressive Asian Arowana). Therefore, it’s easier to get them into a community. Due to features mentioned above, there’s no need to tell they’re great starting Arowana fish.
- Other Asian Arowana types
Some show more types of Asian Arowana exotic freshwater fish which are Yellow (Yellow Tail Green Arowana) Arowana and Platinum Arowana.
Yellow Arowana is in fact Green Arowana with yellow tail (fin), their fins have pink red color when they are small and get yellow when they mature.
Platinum Asian Arowana price is nowhere to guess because they’re very rare. Actually, we have no ideas how to have Platinum Arowana because they’re result of mutant gene (maybe from Red or Crossback Golden or Red Tail Golden Arowana). Don’t mistake Platinum Arowana with Silver Arowana. You know it’s a Platinum by the tail, Silver Arowana has solid fin tail from dorsal to anal, while Platinum has 3 separate fins. Silver Arowana is not a product of mutant but Asian Platinum is.
It is not an exaggeration if call Platinum Arowana is one of the most exotic freshwater fish, they’re mutant and have exotic color, aren’t they?
Those are five types of Asian Arowana exotic freshwater fish. Their exotic level and price range from high to low can be in this order: Platinum Arowana, Red Arowana, Crossback Golden Arowana, Red Tail Golden Arowana, Green Arowana and Yellow Arowana.